Capitaine Évident

As is my wont I will state the obvious in that today is the last Saturday of 2018. As is also my wont I had to take a slight detour: Capitaine Évident is Captain Obvious in French.

One time while at the Winter Meetings with one of my clients I said that signing a certain player would be an upgrade at that position for this team. The General Manager said, “Thanks, Captain Obvious.” I said, “You’re welcome, but don’t assume what seems like the obvious.”

It is almost incomprehensible to me, though, that this is the last Saturday of the year. A famous saying states, “Time flies when you’re having fun.” I think time flies whether or not you’re having fun, certainly as one gets to my stage of life.

Although I may do this again (and again, I know I repeat myself on occasion but it’s almost always on purpose), I proffer hopes for a better 2019 for most of the planet. Why not all of the planet? I’m only human…


This article in Automobile Magazine is primarily an interview with Carlos Tavares, the CEO of French auto company PSA. They manufacture Peugeot, Citroën, DS, Opel and Vauxhall. They purchased the latter two makes from General Motors. First, this picture from


I have written about this car before; it is the Peugeot e-legend concept based on the Peugeot 504 coupe of the late 1960s. As I have stated many times before (for emphasis and so that readers will remember) the first thing that grabs me about a car is its looks. Electric car or not, I think the e-legend is stunning and if Groupe PSA actually produces the car I hope it looks very much like the concept.

I thought I would show some excerpts from the interview with Tavares including his thoughts on re-entering the US market from which the company has been absent for quite some time:

On why Groupe PSA wants to return to North America:

“Because it is one of the biggest markets in the world and being present in Europe, in China, we also need to be present in the United States, as we were a long time ago. So, we want to come back. We want to come back to stay. Perhaps that’s the most important fact.” In my opinion, that was a Capitaine Évident answer.

Supposedly Groupe PSA will decide by this spring what brand they are going to bring to the US.

On the future of sedans and coupes in an increasingly electrified vehicle world Tavares said:

“We estimate that sedans and coupes still have a future for the very simple reason that a boxy SUV has a frontal area which is much bigger and therefore is going to absorb much more energy. And if you are talking about the quantity of energy that you put in your batteries to ensure a certain range, the more energy you are going to use, the lower the range, which of course is one big expectation of our customers. We believe that sedans and coupes still have a future because their ability to use less energy through aerodynamics.”

I thought the following was an interesting remark by Tavares, which although seemingly obvious speaks to why this country is not simply going to have public transportation everywhere in the foreseeable future:

“We start from a very simple thought: We believe that human beings are eager to protect their spontaneous freedom of movement. You need to have an available mobility tool that is going to fulfill this need for your freedom to move anywhere and at any time. The U.S. market is unique because there are a lot of big distances, and there is a significant infrastructure for automobiles. We see that the need to be able to meet this expectation of spontaneous, convenient, and comfortable freedom of movement is still very strong.”


I believe that competition in a market or industry ultimately benefits the consumer. Again, that seems obvious but many seem unable to grasp that concept. I think it will be a good thing for US auto consumers if Groupe PSA re-enters the US in a meaningful way.


6 thoughts on “Capitaine Évident

  1. Don’t care much for Renault…but I like Peugeot. Growing up in Spain/France, I learned how to drive with a Peugeot 205. My family also had a Peugeot 505 sti…nice car!


  2. As C/2 wrote, the styling is reminiscent of the Toyota Celica – to the point that when I first saw the photo before reading the text, I thought it might be an idea Toyota had for a Celica coupe reincarnation. • I would like to see PSA return to the U.S. market. I wonder if they are willing to expend the capital resources it would take to do it correctly? I think I recall that they had originally planned to re-enter the U.S. in 2014. Still waiting …


    1. I wonder if PSA understands how dominant “non-cars” are in the US market. The European and US car markets have really diverged.


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